tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN March 22, 2012 2:00am-3:00am EDT
a good evening, i'm erin burnett. good evening, i'm erin burnett. breaking news. a violent and dramatic night in france. police in a self-described al qaeda militant accused of killing seven people over the past ten days are facing off. the suspect has confessed to the killings of three french paratroopers, a jewish rabbi and three jewish children over the past ten days. dan rivers is at the scene in the city of toulouse with the latest. >> reporter: well, erin, it's
been a pretty dramatic day of developments here in toulouse, france. first of all, the news that mohammed merah who has been surrounded, a siege has ensued after an initial shoot-out with police who then tried to engage him in negotiation. that negotiation we're told broke down at several points. they described him as being stubborn, difficult to deal with. then later on this evening in the early hours of the morning, here three loud explosions lit up the sky behind me. we're told by the interior ministry it was designed to put pressure on him to try to get him to re-engage with those negotiators. a lot of police activity on the road that we're broadcasting on here. a lot of police cars coming and going. one with a figure covered in an -- in a sort of space blanket. a lot of speculation could have
been him, but the interior ministry insisting he remains holed up in this building behind me with the whole of france waiting to see how this drama will unfold. erin? >> just before the standoff started, the suspect made a phone call to a french newsroom and asked for the editor by name. i spoke to that editor and asked her what she thought when she first picked up the phone. >> i thought i was speaking to a 16-year-old who wanted to play a prank on me. that's what i thought. that's what i thought. >> and did he -- >> it only started to dawn on me -- yes? >> did he talk at all about why he did this and whether he had help, he had accomplices? >> he wouldn't answer that question whether he had help, although he kept on talking about us. and that there was help, because i asked him where did you get help? we got help.
we got help for the material and the financial resources to be able to plan and carry out the attacks. so he was very ambivalent on many things, but the only thing that he wanted to keep on reiterating that it was only the beginning and that more attacks were about to come. and that he was going to carry on. he was going to carry out more attacks. he seemed to be quite certain of that. >> and ebba, no remorse at all it sounds like from what you're saying? >> no, i'm trying to think about it. all of today having seen this day go forward, whether there was remorse. he seemed to be so sincerely convinced of what he was saying. and with his almost schoolboy
voice, it was a disconcerting effect on one, i must admit. and on me right now when i hear this -- i do admit to feeling a bit -- a bit strange. a bit ambivalent about all this. because he's -- he's a very engaging young man. let me say that. >> all right. well, ebba, thank you very much for sharing -- talking to us about that. unbelievable phone call. well, our other top stories, stopping a threat to the homeland. given what happened in france this is of rising importance to the united states. today, five counterterrorism experts from the fbi, the nypd, dea and treasury department testified before the house homeland security today. france's horrific attack on the jewish children is a big part of the focus here, but also there was the recent targeting of diplomats in india, georgia and
thailand. all of that is top of mind. preventing a terror attack, long feared by leon panetta is an out front priority for american officials as well. the director of intelligence testified about iranian agents conducting surveillance on new york city since 2003 and he gave more evidence about that particular threat. one in 2008, during the u.n. general assembly. members of the iranian delegation were seen photographing grand central railroad tracks. he cited september 2010 and again during the u.n. general assembly, four employees of the iran broadcasting company interviewed after photographing and videotaping the water line and structure area of the wall street heli port landing pad. the obama administration has been vigilant charging two men, a member of the iran's revolutionary guard.
and now officials say the plot was block backed by -- backed by the senior iranian official and first time that a foreign power has been acued of plotting a political assassination in the united states capital. it raises important questions and so does the chilling warning from the nypd's director of intelligence analysis. >> as the pressure on iran continues to mound, or if war breaks out, iran may choose to strike in the united states or for the reasons already mentioned new york city may present the ideal target. >> now matthew levitt testified today. he's a former deputy assistant secretary at the treasury department and a former fbi counterterrorism analyst. i spoke to him a few moments ago and i asked him about the likelihood of attacks in the u.s. >> it could be. there's a shadow war going on
between iran and the west. israel and the united states both, and some of the -- in one of the thailand attacks and azerbaijan attacks. if there's a strike in iran and if iran believes that's imminent there could be attacks in the homeland. not a given, but it's possible. >> you just mentioned like the word shadow war. in your testimony you said clearly america and its allies are involved in a shadow war with iran. it is no longer clear that iran sees carrying out an attack in the united states as crossing some sort of red line. how so? >> well, not only has there been tit for tat attacks, whether it's involving the iran's centrifuges, but we have the plot at end of last year where agents tried to target the saudi ambassador to washington, here in washington, d.c. at lunch time at a prominent restaurant, where we know from the intercepts that they were
aware that this would kill innocents including u.s. senators who frequent that restaurant. that didn't bother them at all. so the director of u.s. intelligence testified in january that it appears at least some leaders now see the attack in the u.s. and the homeland as no longer crossing some type of red line. that's of concern to the law enforcement here. >> and president obama has filed charges in that case against the naturalized american citizen, iranian born who they say with the iranian government's support and backing was coordinating that attack. is that case in particular relevant to iran's thinking right now? >> i think it demonstrates where iranian leaders are in terms of the willingness to carry out the type of attacks. by our indicting one of the individuals or even treasuries designating more, it's clearly already interested in carrying out the attacks. the question is whether iran itself or one of the proxies like hezbollah might carry out
an attack here in the homeland especially in the event of an attack on the homeland. >> a big topic today is hezbollah in the hearing, the primary proxy for iran, but also the dea an official talking about 70 used car dealerships that think may be involved with hezbollah and financing of terrorists. how big of a threat is hezbollah in the united states? >> well, hezbollah has a significant presence here, both in terms of people who are sympathetic and supports and even trained operatives. some who have military experience training in lebanon or in iran. so they have people here who could carry out attacks if they wanted to. primarily they see the u.s. as a cash cow where they raise money for dual use items. sometimes they send operatives in from abroad. they could leverage their relationships with criminal elements which are extensive here in north america. so there's lots of ways this could play out. >> how many cells, how many
hezbollah operatives? you referred to george tenet back in 2002 saying hezbollah was a direct threat to the u.s. homeland. so has it grown, is it bigger, and if so, how much? >> several congressman asked me that question this morning. we don't know the exact number. but we know that there are people who have military training and many who could be called upon or forced by extortion to do things they don't want to do. a lot of people here have families back in lebanon. if hezbollah says do this or your family will suffer, that could expose another layer. >> thank you very much. okay, we have thomas sanderson at the think tank csis. phil, is this threat any greater than it was when george tenet talked about it ten years ago or is it now that everyone is talking about iran and hezbollah, so it's more rhetoric than anything else?
>> well, first, i think you have to differianceuate between iran and hezbollah. we focus on hezbollah as a terrorist organization. they own lebanese politics in a way they didn't 30 years ago. and how they might respond to an iranian order might have changed. hezbollah is a different adversary than they were when george tenet spoke. iran is different as well. what we have seen in the past year is that attempt on the ambassador to the -- the saudi ambassador in washington and also attempts across the world in places like thailand and azerbaijan. so they're showing capabilities one thing. the real difference is they're showing the intent to go after people in ways they weren't five, ten years ago. >> thomas, would you agree with that, that they are showing the intent and if so, what would be the potential risks or types of attacks that they might try in the united states?
>> well, i agree with phil, the intent is there and the capability is up for the iranians. i do agree that iranians view hezbollah differently than in the past so that forces the iranians to increase their ability to reach into the united states or to hit u.s. interests in other parts of of the world. so i think it's something we need to pay closer attention to, but to make a distinction between the two groups. >> of course iran denies all of this. and it does seem -- there's so much rhetoric out there right now that, you know, is it possible, phil, that they're not really involved with any of these things, that they -- you know, people are saying they're involved with, whether it be in georgia or india or thailand or the saudi ambassador? >> i'm a skeptical analyst but i wouldn't buy that in a heart beat. first of all, they have a history of assassinations. they were assassinating people in europe and this was pretty brazen. in european countries that they were trying to build partnerships with.
now we have operations against the iranians, for example, the stuxnet operation against the nuclear facilities. you have assassinations of iranian scientists in tehran and then the same techniques sort of mag any tyczed bombs used to kill israeli diplomats in places like india, you want to tell me that's not iran? i don't buy it. >> gentlemen, thank you very much. and drawing conclusions about the blunder by mitt romney's adviser, will he be able to shake it off? miguel marquez interviews a city counselor that murdered his wife. and the latest developments in the trayvon martin killing. was the death inevitable under florida law?
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>> well, i think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. everything changes. it's almost like an etch-a-sketch. you can kind of shake it up a and we start all over again. >> well, his opponents of course seized on that moment saying it proves mitt romney has no core conviction, you shake it and you go over here and you get the point. john avlon is here. rick santorum is in a car, looking at an etch-a-sketch. there he is. why is this getting so much pickup? >> this gets a lot of pickup because it goes to the heart of political communications. these are nates because it demons an existing negative narrative about mitt romney. namely he's the opposite of a conviction politician. and it was compounded by the sin of vivid language. and a visual metaphor. etch-a-sketch, that gives something to hold on and that gaffe ended on a good day for
the romney campaign. big win in illinois and an endorsement from jeb bush. >> i wonder how much it's us. we love talking about it. most people are like whatever. i don't know. i don't know. all right, but there's something else you have been looking at which is fund-raising. john's been covering this second by second. but also passionate about it. romney had a big month. but you're talking about he spent everything he earned. that says more to me than the etch-a-sketch. >> and in politics you follow the money. you look at the money raised last month, mitt romney is spending more money than he's taking in. basically romney the management consultant would not be too happy with romney the presidential campaign. but on the other hand, spending more than all of the opponents like a 29-1 measure in tv ads in illinois has served the campaign very well. he's in a strong position. >> what about santorum and gingrich's latest numbers? what stands out to you? >> newt has a real problem. right now, his debt exceeds cash
on hand. it indicates how exopinionsive it will for him to continue this campaign. santorum on the other hand is raising more than he's taking in. -- than he's spending. a good sign. except you see how far he's lagging mitt romney. one of the fund-raising measures he's selling the snazzy sweater vests 100 bucks a pop. right now, he trails mitt romney $4.7 million. he's going to have to sell 47,000 sweaters to close that gap. that's a real problem. >> that's more than even probably foster friess wants to store in his wyoming retreat. thank you so much to john. you makes sense to us. all right. well, now a story that shocked the town of pacific, washington. many have known 64-year-old gary hullsy for more than two decades. he's a father and grandfather and a member of the city council since 2007. but what most people don't know is that he is also a convicted murderer. when this story broke -- first broke a few weeks ago, local
media pounced. >> i killed without a second thought. >> a stunning revelation, rocking a small town. >> it surprised me, i was shocked to hear about it. >> his dark past uncovered. only after being elected twice. >> so we decided to dig a little deeper and miguel marquez quickly discovered there's a lot more to this man than his personal story. >> reporter: gary hullsy a vietnam vet has been to hell and back. >> you had about as intense an experience a young man, a teenager, can have. >> true. >> reporter: you had to kill a man with your bare hands. >> at one point, yes. >> reporter: he was 17 years old when he joined the marines. three tours and more than three years later he came home, battered, bruised, but determined to leave the past behind. he finished college, started his own contracting business, but
vietnam wasn't done with him. how much did you drink? >> i'd go through a fifth of whiskey a day. >> reporter: why did you drink so much? >> so i could pass out at night without having nightmares. >> reporter: eight years after he returned from vietnam, he was drinking heavily on the night of october 24, 1978. he did the unthinkable. >> i passed out around -- the last i remember it was about 10:00. when i woke up, she was in bed next to me and i had a knife i kept under my pillow. the knife never jams -- i kept that combat knife under my pillow. i stick it in her chest and i called the authorities. >> reporter: what did you tell them? >> i think i killed my wife. >> reporter: he pleaded insanity and served nine years. his experience is extreme, but familiar.
more than a million veterans have returned from iraq and afghanistan nearly 20% of returning service members may suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, ptsd. as much as 25% depression. one study indicated 27% of returning iraq vets have used alcohol. another showed prescription and illegal drug addiction as high as 35% among some soldiers. when gary hulsey killed his wife in 1978, ptsd wasn't a clinical diagnosis. he didn't seek treatment for it until 1994. one of the most difficult problems is diagnosing ptsd. they have to recognize the symptoms and be willing to ask for help. one way the military is trying to reach vets -- video games that present real-life dilemmas where doctors can identify problems based on the score. another way is with programs developed for your mobile phone. there's a blood tracker so that service members can track in a range of emotions and feelings
in realtime. everything from depression, to feelings of tiredness or hopelessness. the data helps to find the possibility of stress related problems. tools that didn't exist in gary hulsey's day. >> war is hell. hell is being separated from god. god doesn't walk around a war zone. >> reporter: despite the hell, he has turned his life around. in 2007 he became an elected official. a city councilman in pacific, washington. when the local press heard -- >> a killer on the city council. >> reporter: he was forced to confront his past again. as his murder conviction became widely known. married 25 years now, he credits his wife lois for helping him understand something he never thought he would. >> i came home from vietnam, i knew fear. i knew anger. i didn't know how to deal with love or joy or happiness or -- i
knew guilt. and guilt and fear turned into anger. that was familiar. now i know joy. i know love. >> gives me goose bumps to hear your report, miguel. he talks about being married to his wife lois for 25 years. what does she think about his past? >> reporter: well, they have two rules. very hard and fast rules in their household. one, no alcohol in the house at all. she completely trusts him, but he does say if he starts to thrash about at night, she has to go to another room to sleep. >> wow. what's his advice for people with ptsd, for young men coming back? >> reporter: it sounds too simple. his point is seek help. talk to other people. the biggest thing that he didn't do before that when he did do it made a world of difference was to him was to go to vfw, the veterans of foreign wars and the v.a.
he said there's tons of help there available. he works with vets now a lot of the returning vets. he loves talking to them. he goes seek help. simplest thing you can do. >> amazing story. thanks very much. well, the man responsible for a french killing spree made a phone call today. the woman he called is next. and president obama tries to sell america on his new energy plan. but how bright is his idea? if yf the millions of men who have used androgel 1%, there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%, you can save on your monthly prescription. [ male announcer ] dosing and application sites between these products differ. women and children should avoid contact with application sites.
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we start the second half of the show with stories we care about, where we focus on the reporting, do the top five. and fbi and dea, and treasury department testified about the ties between hezbollah and the ties to the u.s. the director of intelligence testified saying that there had been agents conducting surveillance on new york city since 2003 and as recently as 2010. matthew levitt tells outfront, the u.s. and allies are involved this a shadow war with iran. as for hezbollah levitt says the group has a significant presence in this country.
number two, officials in tennessee say they foiled an attempted prison break of a death row inmate. officials say they plotted to break christa pike out of the tennessee prison for women. a corrections officer at the prison had direct contact with pike and had been planning it for months. that's until authorities learned of it. she was sentenced to death for killing a teenager in 1995. and number three, kony filmmaker will remain in hospital for weeks after a meltdown. he suffered from reactive psychosis, brought on by mental, emotional and physical shock and she added as i quote, jason will get better. he's a long way to go, but we are confident he will make a full recovery. video showed russell, naked, pacing along a san diego
intersection, and banging his hands on the pavement. number four, the existing home sales fell by 1% to about 4.59 million units. the rounding matters with the numbers. economists tell us that despite the fall, the market is improving at a gradual price. home prices are falling which helps more people and mortgage rates are at historic low but they're jumping. it's cheaper to buy a home than rent. san francisco and honolulu, better keep renting. 230 days since the u.s. lost the top credit rating. what are we going to get it back? we want to return to the breaking news story, the violent and dramatic situation between the french police and a self-described al qaeda militant. that is what we heard earlier tonight, mohammed merah is accused of killing seven people.
in a ten-day shooting spree in the city of toulouse. dan rivers joins us live from toulouse. what is the latest now? >> reporter: well, we're being told by the interior ministry that the operation has not begun. that they said that the explosions that we heard about what, an hour ago now, were merely to pressure merah to engage with the negotiators -- to re-engage with them after he made it clear that he wasn't interested in ending this in a peaceable way. they lit up the sky here, giving up the impression that they were flash bangs they had thrown towards the building where he's holed up. the building is down at the end of the street. there's been a lot more activity in the last five or ten minute, a lot of police coming and going. i don't know if it's a shift change, but a sign that things are starting to develop here. but the message is that the operation has not begun, but it
was to put pressure on merah to try and engage with negotiators. >> dan river, thank you very much. monitoring that for us as the night continues in toulouse, france. two hours before police even arrived at his home, the suspect made a phone call to the french newsroom and asked for the editor by name. that editor, ebba kalondo, joins us now. ebba, thanks very much for taking the time. i know it's a very late night for you as well. what was the first thing he said to you? >> he said he wanted to claim responsibility for all the attacks. in toulouse. those were the first things he said and that he was part of a group that was allied to al qaeda, operating in france. those were the first things he said.
>> then i know he told you he wanted to avenge the deaths of palestinian children, protest the military's involvement in afghanistan. did you believe him, that he really was the shooter? >> no. no, not at all. i thought it was a 16-year-old who stole his father's telephone at 1:00 in the morning. he had a very juvenile voice and extremely impeccable french. i thought it was a prank call really. we have so many of them at our network. there's so many people from all parts of the world who get upset with current affairs stories that i thought it was just another one of such -- of such calls. but then there was the extreme focus and the structure of his arguments and he was -- and he told me, listen, i want to tell you something that only the perpetrator of these attacks would know or the police and if you don't believe me, ask the police. and then he enumerated certain facts about the bullet casings at each attack.
how many shots were fired. how many bullet casings he took from the scenes, and what he left behind. so very, very specific information and reiterated that it was only the beginning. and that more was to come. that's when we then started this very weird conversation. i asked him, well, why did you choose now to act? and he said, quite almost sincerely, he said, before we didn't have enough money, nor did we have the weapons that we needed. so the material and the financial resources he said were only made available or came together two weeks ago and then apparently the plan then went into overdrive until it came to fruition. he seemed to be very aware that a massive manhunt was underway for him.
he said he wasn't scared. and that neither capture nor death scared him at all. he said if i was caught, i would go to prison with my head held high and should i do -- should i die, i will die with a smile on my face. that's what he said and he sounded like a 16-year-old boy. but it's just a chilling quality of his words. >> that is. i mean, i know obviously no remorse and obviously proud. i know that he didn't seem to want to get off the phone and i was told you talked to him for about 11 minutes and 19 seconds. how did the conversation end and did he ever say why he picked you? why you personally? >> i don't know. i don't know. i don't know. in fact, i'd rather not think about it, if i can. it's been -- it's been a very weird 24 hours, and it moved from a sense of i don't know
whether this person is credible, although he was saying very rationale sounding things and only when i was being interrogated by the anti-terror squad did i slowly start to realize oh, gee, i think it might be the same guy. and so it's been a day of sort of dawning realization that not only was the suspect that's now holed up in this building, the young chap that i spoke to last night, but that he was absolutely serious. absolutely serious. >> ebba, thank you very much for sharing your tale and pretty amazing just by hearing her, you can imagine the shock that she went through talking to him. well, a woman has been held by somali pirates for about six months and we have a development to report for you tonight. and the latest in the trayvon martin case.
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hostage judith tebbet was released by somali pirates after months in captivity. she was snatched while vacations with her husband. her husband was shot and killed in the raid. our david mckenzie is in they row by and i asked about the details of her release. >> reporter: erin, she was kept in captivity for harrowing seven months in somalia. she said that her captors moved her from place to place. one tragic detail, she didn't even know at first that her husband david, had been killed in the initial attack last september. she said it was her son ollie who is secured the release. there might have been a ransom paid to make sure she got to freedom. the continued payment of ransom though helping people like judith go free are in fact just fuelling this issue of
kidnapping and piracy off the coast and in the inland of somalia. they say ultimately the solution is to help govern those ungoverned spaces to stop the scourge of piracy. erin? >> thanks very much, david mckenzie. thousands of people are rallying for the florida teen killed by a neighbor watchman. trayvon martin was allegedly shot dead by george zimmerman as he was walking home unarmed from a convenience store nearly a month ago. no charges were ever filed. zimmerman said he acted in self-defense and had a right to pull the trigger under florida's stand your ground law, but others say the watch volunteer was racial profiling. and tonight, there's growing debate over whether zimmerman used a racial slur in his call to 911. trayvon's parents are calling for zimmerman's arrest. they spoke moments ago at the rally in union square. >> trayvon was your typical teenager. trayvon being the typical
teenager, he was not and i repeat was not a bad person. >> we know that! >> george zimmerman took trayvon's life for nothing. >> for nothing! >> george zimmerman took trayvon's life profiling him. my son did not deserve to die. >> and ben jealous is head of the naacp. he's out front along with paul callan, attorney. thanks to both of you. ben, i wanted to start with you. i know there was a town hall today. there was a lot of acrimony at that town hall. video shows some heated moments. what are community members telling you right now? >> folks are saying, look, we want to see this man locked up and brought to justice. we want to make sure that this department is actually looked into from the bottom to the top, both in this case and just the general pattern that we see here. we want to see this chief gone. because he is simply -- has lost
the faith of his community. moments ago we received a report that the county commission had voted 3-2, no faith -- excuse me the city commission, no faith in this chief and that just reflects what i heard all last night and all today as we talked to people here. >> and i'm curious, because the department of justice is investigating to see if it's racially motivated. i'm wondering from your point of view, is it possible that evidence could come out that would change your mind, that this was not an explicitly racist act? >> nobody knows if zimmerman is a racist. that's not the concern. some people say longer than they had been on the earth, there's a pattern of this department not treating cases involving young black men as victims, as seriously as they should. simply young black men's lives are just not valued as much and
that when people have some connection to this department, whether they're a volunteer on the weekend, as a reserve officer, or they have a family member on the force or they're a neighborhood watchman that they get sort of wide latitude and special dispensation even when they have killed a young black man. >> paul, you know, this stand your ground law you're allowed to use deadly force if you feel reasonably threatened with serious harm. everybody perceives threat differently. if you're a racist and you perceive threat where there's not a threat from a teenage boy, that's not justified. >> no, it's not. you don't get the benefit of self-defense, because of racism that's why you're in fear. the law says you have to act as a reasonable person would act. and the reasonable person under law is not a racist. so this is an objective standard, was he in fear of serious bodily harm when he
fired the deadly weapons? that's the self-defense test. >> do you think it's allowed people who are racist to act with deadly force because they wrongly perceive people who are threats who are not threats? >> what this law has done is empowered cops to make their own judgments about who's a killer and who's not a kill in ways that are hard to wrap your mind around. when you read the law, what the law says is if somebody stalks you or puts a gun at you, that you have the right to use equal and opposite force. well, that would seem to suggest that this law is saying that trayvon martin could have used deadly force against george zimmerman. this law does not give you permission to go hunting for little boys. and that's what mr. zimmerman did. >> all right. final word. >> florida's self-defense law is the same as the law in every other state. if you reasonably perceive that you're going to be killed, you can use deadly physical force.
the stand your ground thing is just -- it's outside of the house instead of the house. inside the house you don't have to be in fear of death. you can shoot somebody who comes into your house. this is a self-defense case. is self-defense there or not there? that's what it's going to come down there. was zimmerman in reasonable fear and only the facts will tell what the truth is there. >> does seem amazing there was no custody and no investigation. >> no custody, no investigation. other places he would have been arrested. >> a lot more on this to come. the big rally in new york. thanks to both of you, ben and paul. and the energy debate continues to heat up, but do the president's numbers add up? and twitter hit a milestone today. we'll be back. early stages of cancer and it's something that we're extremely proud of. you see someone who is saved because of this technology, you know that the things that you do in your life, matter. if i did have an opportunity to meet a cancer survivor, i'm sure i could take something positive away from that.
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according to an analyst at pacific crest securities that's how many years a customer has to commit to solar energy to break even. electricity prices are called -- tied to coal and natural gas. not oil. so even though oil prices are high, natural gas is still low. so you have to sweat it out for almost a couple decades before you see returns. but even if you're willing to put in the time, solar energy will not work everywhere. a state has to have the perfect combination of good sun and high electric prices for solar to be feasible. right now, pacific crest says there are only three states, california, florida and hawaii with the right mix. yeah, you know, they're pretty sunny. hawaii has hydro, so why even bother? well, we'd need electricity prices to go up for solar to be a true alternative. it could happen. that's why people are investing in it. is it worth it? next, twitter with another milestone.
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every single day, 300 million tweets are posted. most mundane, but some very important. took the site more than three years to reach a billion tweets and now they hit that mark every three days. but it's not just about the tweets. it's about the tweeters. it seems like a lot of people are on twitter. lady gaga of course is number one with 21 million followers. bieber is second. katy perry and shakira are rounding out the top five. president obama is eighth with 13 million followers. newt gingrich 1.5 million. mitt romney 380,000. ron paul 260,000. think with all of his young followers and young devotees he'd be up there, but newt is number one. rick santorum only 170,000. i joined a year ago. not even a year ago. my first tweet was on june 23rd. i said this is my first tweet. e-mail us with resumes. a lot of you did. we do have the best team.